Going from one to two children is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. When Thomas was born, Alice was 2 and a half. We were pretty settled, she had a lovely little routine going and one of my biggest fears was this newborn coming along and upsetting everything! Dave had a couple of weeks paternity leave, but after that I was on my own with the two of them. But, I survived! It wasn't half as hard as I thought it would be, and it's only ever gotten easier as their routines have merged into one big family routine! I thought I would share some things that worked for me when I transitioned from 1 to 2 children (Or, from having a toddler, to having a toddler and a newborn!)
1. Your older childs' routine is the one to stick to. You don't really wanna mess with something thats working well for you, so the idea is to fit baby around it. Yes, easier said than done when your newborn decides he wants feeding the second it's time for your toddlers bath, but not impossible. I found it easiest to just carry Thomas around with me, giving him what he needed, when he needed it and keeping Alice in her normal routine. Eventually, Thomas sort of slotted in. Literally! I found myself putting him down to bed half an hour before Alice, putting him down for naps during Alice's snack times... it just worked!
2. No pressure. Seriously, go easy on yourself. I was lucky that Alice wasn't in nursery yet so if I didn't get dressed or get out the house one day, it wasn't the end of the world! The more I relaxed about the housework and... you know, showering every day, the easier I coped. And eventually I found myself able to take on more and more as things settled down. Little steps...
3. Snacks! Snacks for you, snacks for toddler, always on stand by! You don't know if you're going to get to eat a proper dinner that night, so snack as you go. Keep it as healthy as you can of course, but a bar of chocolate in a crisis really does go a long way. Now is not the time to start counting calories!!
4. Embrace the chaos. Because TRUST ME it does not last forever. It might feel all up in the air for a few weeks, but you will settle into it. You will get into a routine and things will feel manageable again. And this is the weird bit, you'll sort of miss those first few scary/exciting weeks of madness.
5. Ask for help when you need it, but don't stress over the advice. Do things your way, the way they work for you. I'm going to admit it, I used a few too many baby jars and made up one of two too many milks to put in the fridge, but it was the only way I could manage. And that's what you've got to do. Find a way to get through it, and screw what other people think.
What advice would you give mums expecting there second baby?